Ontario expected to announce extension to vaccine certificate program

Dec 10 2021, 2:40 pm

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and minister of health are expected to make an announcement on Friday afternoon.

Reports suggest that the province will officially extend the vaccine certificate program beyond January. Ontario’s original plan for reopening would see the vaccine certificate program begin to be lifted in certain settings beginning on January 17.

Earlier this week, Minister of Health Christine Elliott said that she expected, with the new Omicron variant, the vaccine certificate would need to be in place for longer than originally planned.

“We anticipate we will need it for at least another several months if everything is alright, maybe for longer than that once we know more about the Omicron variant,” she said.

That afternoon, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore told reporters that he would be advising the province on the vaccine certificate and that the final decision is up to them.

Ontario has indefinitely paused the reopening plan to lift capacity limits in high-risk settings.

Reports also suggest that the QR code version of the vaccine certificate will soon be the only one accepted as they provide more security and are more difficult to forge.

The news comes as Ontario’s reported nearly 1,300 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Hospitalizations in the province have also been climbing in recent weeks. There are now more than 300 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province.

Ontario’s Science Table released new modelling this week that showed a grim outlook for COVID-19 in the province, even without factoring in the spread of Omicron. Cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are expected to continue their upward trend in all circumstances.

There is no word yet if other COVID-19 restrictions will be reintroduced.

You can watch Friday afternoon’s announcement here at 2 pm.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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